THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

 |   |  1 min read

Joy Division: New Dawn Fades
THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

Joy Division's debut album, for the sound of Martin Hannett's production alone, changed the way people thought about music in the post-punk era. Here was glacially smooth and dark music with theatrical intent and a poetic sensibility.

It sounded astonishingly gloomy (lines like "where will it end" and "she's lost control again" leap out at you) but Hannett's spacious production also allowed massive bass lines and mechanistic drumming to create a sonic landscape in which Ian Curtis' vocals sound like they have been beamed in from a distance, both physical and emotional.

A track like Candidate for example would be almost a disjointed art statement if Curtis' vocals were removed.

But it is his delivery and poetry which is the compelling feature: Curtis sings as a man feeling removed from or uncomfortable in the world, he drew on experiences in his job as a social worker confronting the grim misery of his clients (She's Lost Control) but became a kind of Mancunian Sylvia Plath where there are images of white sheets and silent cars beside the road, blood on fingers and "I've seen the nights filled with blood sports and pain".

Curtis is there in every lyric: the observer or participant.

Unknown Pleasures was never an easy listen and some only heard its dark and gloomy qualities, not it's poetry. When people joked that Leonard Cohen was a one-man Joy Division, they didn't realise quite how that was more true than just a superficial reading.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

One of the great albums of rock era which should be in any collection, it is now less than $10 from JB H-Fi stores (here).

And that is a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Electric Light Orchestra: The Very Best Of ; All Over the World

THE BARGAIN BUY: Electric Light Orchestra: The Very Best Of ; All Over the World

With the imminent release of the remixed Sgt Pepper's on its 50 anniversary (released May 26 in various versions from single CD and vinyl to box set), it's timely to listen again to Jeff Lynne's... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Soundgarden; The Classic Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Soundgarden; The Classic Album Series

In the same series which has produced the excellent value and beautifully presented Elsewhere-recommended sets of Thin Lizzy, the Cure, Motorhead, Elton John and others (five discs in gatefold... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ERIC CLAPTON; THE FIRST 25 YEARS CONSIDERED: The living link between hippie and yuppie

ERIC CLAPTON; THE FIRST 25 YEARS CONSIDERED: The living link between hippie and yuppie

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Eric Clapton -- once called "God" by his devotees -- ceased to be relevant. Certainly he still plays to huge audiences and his guitar playing remains... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MIDORI TAKADA: Through a glass, brightly

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MIDORI TAKADA: Through a glass, brightly

It's a given these days. The moment you write about a musician who exists in an obscure corner of the mainstream world – or has absolutely no presence there at all – then someone in... > Read more